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[CQ-Contest] Contest Station Design - cable management

Subject: [CQ-Contest] Contest Station Design - cable management
From: k8cc@mediaone.net (k8cc)
Date: Fri Jan 26 01:29:35 2001
At 09:22 AM 1/25/01 -0500, Bill Coleman wrote:
 >You don't need two transceivers for SO2R. You need two receivers and one
 >frequency-agile transmitter.
 >Something like the FT-1000D is pretty darn close to being there.

Speaking as an owner of four FT-1000Ds, this statement is not at all true.

I bought my first FT-1000D to get a better SSB radio than my IC-765s.  It
had occurred to me that perhaps a single 1000D could replace two
765s.  However, it took less than an hour (really!) to determine that it
would never work.  The fact that the 1000D (and as far as I know, NO
sub-rcvr equipped transceiver) can receive while transmitting.  Speaking as
someone who has been a SO2R op since 1981, THIS IS CRUCIAL.

Bill Coleman's statement would be true if you could have an instantaneously
frequency-agile transmitter.  But you also need band decoders on both the
main (i.e., transmit) frequency and the sub-rcvr frequency (which again, to
the best of my knowledge NONE of the sub-rcvr equipped transceivers
provide) to automate the phalanx of relays such a configuration
requires.  Sure, you could do it by hand, but I'll bet you'd tire of it
within the first hour, and if not you'd make some sort of mistake in the
second hour and blow SOMETHING.

One of the first automated bandswitching stations I ever visited was K1GQ
in late 1983.  Bill had an early Alpha 77 amp that he used on 160/10, along
with four SB-220s in the back room for 80/40/20/15.  In a single mode
contest like CQWW, SS or ARRL DX, the SB-220s were tuned up once and
forgotten.  The Alpha went to 10 during the day and 160 at night.  Such a
setup could be duplicated for under $5K today, including an Array Solutions
SixPack with some slaved relays to route the relay keying line to the
correct amp.  This is less than the cost of a single 87A and you don't have
to worry about "dits" and bandswitching times.

The K8CC station has had such a setup since 1989.  The amps have been a
motley assortment of L4B, 2Ks, Alphas and homebrews.  Monoband antennas are
hardwired to the output of the corresponding amp, with monoband bandpass
filters on the amp inputs.  A homebrew "SixPack equivalent" and homebrew
band decoders route the outputs of two transceivers to the appropriate
amp(s).  SO2R is a breeze with this setup, and by moving the second radio
to the other side of the operating desk multi-single or multi-two can be
configured literally in minutes.



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